Experience mainly helps anglers decided when they need to change bass lures or patterns. There are certain factors such as weather and water conditions that also determine when to make a change. Sometimes it even depends on what part of a lake or river you are fishing.
Basic Switching Bass Lures Rules
If I am fishing with a plastic worm or jig I have a lot harder time changing from those slow-moving lures than I do if I have been catching bass on a spinnerbait or other fast-moving bait. It does not take me very long to put down a spinnerbait or crankbait if I am not catching fish. I have much more confidence in jigs and worms because I believe if I keep those lures wet long enough I will catch a big fish. But sometimes that hurts you too because you might stick with that particular type of lure too long when bass turn aggressive and start hitting a faster moving bait.
There is no time limit on when you have to stay with a certain lure or pattern. If I am catching quality bass on a jig or tube bait, then I probably won’t change lures even if I am only getting bites every once in a while. I just believe you are going to catch bigger fish on a jig day in and day out over the course of a year.
When my partner and I fish team tournaments we usually try to set a pace of catching one keeper per hour because we only need to catch a five-bass limit in eight hours of competition. So we usually stick with the lure we caught bass on in practice, and if that lure fails to produce after two hours we change baits to get back on our pace.
When I do make a change, I don’t make a radical move. I may make a slight adjustment, such as changing the bass lure’s color or adding a rattle to the lure. If you notice bass are short striking your lure, changing its color, size or noise can make a difference and cause the fish to hone in on your bait better.
Changing Color Of Your Bass Lures
In a lot of instances, I think color makes as big of a difference as about anything we try. I also will change my retrieves on the same lure before switching to another bait.
If these changes or moving to other areas fail to produce fish, then I consider changing patterns. The time of year is the key factor in determining which pattern to choose. For instance, during the summer I catch some quality fish on a magnum-size plastic worm on main lake pockets but when the dam authorities decide to release water those fish seem to shut down. So I move to the main lake points where current is sweeping across the structure and throw a Carolina-rigged plastic lizard or creature bait.
Weather Impact on Bass Lures
The weather is also very important in making my decision on when to change lures. If the weather is overcast or rainy, then bass will move out of the cover and you have to switch from flipping baits such as jigs and soft plastics to spinnerbaits and other faster lures. If skies are sunny, then the fish tighten up on cover and you change to jigs or soft plastics. It does not matter if the fish are 12 to 20 feet deep or 2 feet deep, bass are in the cover on sunny days. When the weather changes and the fish stop biting, I change immediately to something else or I will at least occasionally throw a different lure.
Another time to change bass lures is when you know a spot has a large school of fish but they’ve have stopped biting. Rather than run to a new spot, try switching to another lure to see if you can fire up the school again. Winter is a good time to make lure changes in one spot because bass group up in their wintering holes. I usually start on a winter spot with a suspending stickbait and if that fails to trigger any strikes after 20 or more casts I will switch to an Alabama rig next.
Bass busting on the surface will sometimes prompt me to make quick lure changes. I usually keep a couple of rods on my deck with two different types of topwater lures and a rod with a subsurface lure such as a Fluke or wake bait. This allows me to make quick changes to match the size of the baitfish bass are busting. When bass are blowing up on the surface, the fish will usually hit your lure right away so it only takes a couple of casts to tell whether or not you need to change to another bait.
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